US Army photo
As reported BloombergAfter winning an order for 5,000 sets of glasses based on the Microsoft HoloLens 2 model, worth around $373 million Field tests Signed by Assistant Secretary for Acquisitions Douglas Bush.
The new Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) devices are largely adapted from the HoloLens 2 kits that Microsoft first showed off in 2019. They feature a heads-up display capable of displaying high-resolution data from night vision, thermal and other military sensors. – All powered by Microsoft Azure cloud services.
Microsoft first broke news of the contract with the US military in November 2018, when the company received a $480 million contract to produce 10,000 specialized HoloLens devices. It was completed in March 2021 with a new deal worth $21.9 billion for about 120,000 units.
The company said at the time that IVAS devices would provide “a platform to make athletes safer and more effective.” This program provides increased situational awareness, enabling information exchange and decision-making in a variety of situations.
However, the deal was met with severe criticism from Microsoft and the rest of the world. Microsoft was forced to defend its cooperation with the U.S. military in February 2019 when CEO Satya Nadella said, “We will not block access to technology for companies we choose in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy.”
In late 2020, the company was also criticized for its role in winning a controversial $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to modernize the Pentagon’s cloud network.
The final augmented reality test report is expected to be released in October 2022, after which the US military will decide whether to proceed with the purchase.
The report, released at the start of the U.S. military’s fiscal year, must be approved by Congress, with House and Senate committees responsible for proposing significant cuts in the military’s budget while awaiting test results.
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